Williamstown Theatre Festival Opens FAR FROM HEAVEN, Featuring Kelli O'Hara, Tonight, 7/21
Williamstown Theatre Festival Artistic Director Jenny Gersten has announced the Main Stage opening of Far From Heaven tonight, July 21.
Far From Heaven, a new musical based on the acclaimed, award-winning 2002 Focus Features/Vulcan Productions motion picture written and directed by Todd Haynes, features a book by Tony Award-winner Richard Greenberg and an original score by the Tony nominated team of Scott Frankel (music) and Michael Korie (lyrics). The show, directed by Michael Greif (Next to Normal, Rent), comes to the Festival under the aegis of a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Playwrights Horizons for the development of new musicals in partnership with a regional theater, wholly within the non-profit system from start to finish.
The show will receive a run at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in Spring 2013. The Cast features JB Adams (Annie) as Dr. Bowman/Morris Farnsworth, Nancy Anderson (A Class Act) as Eleanor Fine, Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Rachel Getting Married) as Sybil, Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) as Raymond Deagan, Sarah Jane Everman (Promises, Promises) as Connie/Doreen, Alison Fraser (Gypsy) as Mona Lauder, Kate Hamilton as Nancy, Talia Hamilton as Sarah Deagan, Chris Hoch (La Cage aux Folles) as Stan Fine, Crystal Lucas-Perry (WTF’s A Streetcar Named Desire) as Esther, Preston Martin as Photographer/Chase, Alexa Niziak as Janice Whitaker, four-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara (Nice Work If You Can Get It, South Pacific) as Cathy Whitaker, Steven Pasquale (FX’s “Rescue Me”) as Frank Whitaker, Charlie Plummer as David Whitaker, Michael James Shaw as Gus, Mary Stout (Jane Eyre) as Mrs. Leacock, and Tony Yazbeck (Gypsy) as Dick Dawson/Latin Singer.
On Tuesday, July 24th at 6:45pm, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Todd Haynes will be present for a pre-show discussion about his film Far From Heaven, on which the musical is based, outside on the lawn of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance. Admission is free to this special pre- performance event.
Cathy Whitaker (O’Hara) seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel — with incendiary consequences. With a book by Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg and a lush score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal, intolerance, and a woman grappling with her own identity in a society on the verge of great upheaval.
The creative team boasts Allen Moyer (Scenic Design), Catherine Zuber (Costume Design), Kenneth Posner (Lighting Design), Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), Peter Nigrini (Projections Design), and David BrIan Brown (Wig and Hair Design). Lawrence Yurman (Grey Gardens) is the Music Director and orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza). Judith Schoenfeld is the Production Stage Manager.
As previously announced, the complete 2012 Williamstown Theatre Festival season runs from June 26 – August 19, 2012 and includes Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, a Preview Production of the new musical Far From Heaven, and a new translation of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country on the Main Stage, with Lucy Boyle’s The Blue Deep, Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man, and Katori Hall’s WHADDABLOODCLOT!!! on the Nikos Stage. The season will also include a special workshop production of David Byrne’s Here Lies Love, which will play at nearby MASS MoCA.
Since 1955, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought America's finest actors, directors, designers, and playwrights to the Berkshires, engaging a loyal audience of both residents and summer visitors. Each WTF season is designed to present unique opportunities for artists and audience alike, revisiting classic plays with innovative productions, developing and nurturing bold new plays and musicals, and offering a rich array of accompanying cultural events including Free Theatre, Late-Night Cabarets, readings, workshops, and educational programs. While best known for our acclaimed productions, WTF is also home to one of the nation’s top training and professional development programs for new generations of aspiring theatre artists and administrators. Now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, WTF was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 2002 and The Commonwealth Award for Achievement in 2011.
Tickets to the Williamstown Theatre Festival may be purchased online (www.wtfestival.org), by phone at 413-597-3400, or in person at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance Box Office at 1000 Main St (Route 2), Williamstown, MA 02167.
The Festival's Nikos Stage is an intimate 173-seat venue that regularly sells out in advance from within the pool of Festival donors.